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(St Eanswyth a Saxon princess)
Domesday Community

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Brenzett Kent - St Eanswyth church
Brenzett is a small village lying in the centre of the Romney Marshes , built up around a ancient cross-road. The old Roman road from Appledore to New Romney runs through the village. This was a causeway known as the Rivi Vellum or Rhee Wall, which was built to hold back the river Rother.

The Domesday Book records that in 1086 the land at 'Brensete' was held by three monks from St Martins Dover.

In 1381 Brenzett was the rallying place for the followers of Wat Tyler . Peasants gathered here from all over Romney Marsh reputedly armed with pitchforks.

During the reign of Henry VIII the Manor of Brenzett was part of the possessions of Thomas Cromwell . In 1541 it passed into the hands of of the King, and stayed with the crown until 1555, when Queen Mary granted it to Lord Saye . Later the manor was held by several East Kent families, however no trace remains of this manor now, and even its site is unknown.

The church here is set back from the road, and surrounded by trees - an unusual feature for Romney Marsh. It is a small church, dedicated to St Eanswyth, a Saxon princess, granddaughter of Ethelbert the first Christian King of Kent, who founded a nunnery at Folkestone . She served her noviciate in Normandy, and became the founder and Abbess of the nunnery of Peter and Paul, which was built in 630.

The church belonged to the Abbey of Gynes in Artois Flanders in the 13th century, and passed into the hands of Henry V c 1415.

It was heavily restored in 1876, but by 1902 had fallen into a state of bad repair. The chancel and bell-turret had to be dismantled and rebuilt. It does however retail a 13th century priest's door and some Norman herring-bone masonry.

A 17th century alabaster monument to John Fagge and his son may be found in the Lady Chapel. On the wall of the north arcade hang the royal arms of King George III and behind the altar are 18th century commandment boards.

St Eanswith at Brenzett is one of those churches supported by the Romney Marsh Historic Churches Trust .


Brenzett Kent - The roudabout
Brenzett has a few local services, with pubs, garages and shops nearby.

The nearest shopping centre is Rye to the west and Ashford to the north east.

The nearest station is outside Appledore , running hourly services to Hastings and Ashford .


Brenzett Kent - The village
Brenzett is located in the centre of the Romney Marshes, and all around has the feeling of openness.

The church is quite pretty and is worth visiting, if the door is locked the old iron key may be obtained from the cottage at the end of the small drive to the church. Beware the church is not in Church Lane, but down a small drive about 100 yards away.

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